Saturday, November 19, 2011

When All Else Fails, Lie Your Butts Off and Make The Public Pick Up The Slack

The Flick: Margin Call

The Peeps: Zachary Quinto, Stanley Tucci, Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Simpn Baker, Demi Moore, Mary McDonnell, etc, etc.

The Dealio: Over the course of one night, lots can happen. Including what transpires in this movie: in the midst of a thorough cleansing of a large brokerage firm (read 1 out of 10 will survive this 'maintenance'), an outgoing, high level employee (Tucci), who has just learned some alarming info, passes his suspicions about the actual state of the firm's assets along to a young coworker (Quinto), who will be spared the purge. At least, for now. Being the basic, nose-to-the-grindstone-genius type, Quinto's Peter Sullivan works out the deets of the sitch passed on to him and comes to a shocking conclusion. Next step? Rally the troops and figure out how to paper over the damage before the firm loses its collective shirt. Lots of late night return-to-work calls, lots of helos landing on the roof, lots of pots of coffee being made. It is a thriller without a drop of blood being shed. Compelling...but scarily real.

The Grading Session: 4.71 pengies out of 5. There are so many tiny performance gems from so many big names, willing to do their tiny bit. Moore, not among them, sadly. Whether you like these characters or think they are jerks, you will not be able to look away. Sort of like a train-wreck. But the only bleeding here is the money of ignorant investors. Scary thing, that.

Lessons Learned: How do I know an investment counsellor is lying? Easy. His/her lips are moving.

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